An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 2013 - Religion - 521 pages
4 Reviews
In this new edition of the best-selling Introduction to Buddhism, Peter Harvey provides a comprehensive introduction to the development of the Buddhist tradition in both Asia and the West. Extensively revised and fully updated, this new edition draws on recent scholarship in the field, exploring the tensions and continuities between the different forms of Buddhism. Harvey critiques and corrects some common misconceptions and mistranslations, and discusses key concepts that have often been over-simplified and over-generalised. The volume includes detailed references to scriptures and secondary literature, an updated bibliography, and a section on web resources. Key terms are given in Pali and Sanskrit, and Tibetan words are transliterated in the most easily pronounceable form, making this is a truly accessible account. This is an ideal coursebook for students of religion, Asian philosophy and Asian studies, and is also a useful reference for readers wanting an overview of Buddhism and its beliefs.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - FionaLiddle - LibraryThing

An excellent introduction including more than the bare minimum. Harvey pays attention to important linguistic points which other introductions often skip over and explains the history and major philosophical elements of Buddhism well. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - refuge - LibraryThing

The more introductory books I read on Buddhism, the more I come to appreciate this one. It is very well written and makes a very complex subject matter easy to understand. If I had to choose just one introduction to Buddhism, this would be it. Read full review


Introduction I
The Buddha and his Indian Context
Rebirth and Karma
The Four True Realities for
Early Developments in Buddhism
The Varieties of Emptiness
Mahayana Holy Beings and Tantric Buddhism
The Later History and Spread of Buddhism
The Songho
Meditation and Cultivation
The Modern History of Buddhism in Asia
Buddhism Beyond Asia
Canons of Serzptures

Devotion 737

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Peter Harvey is Emeritus Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Sunderland. He is author of An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirv na in Early Buddhism (1995). He is editor of the Buddhist Studies Review.

Bibliographic information